What To Do When Someone Dies

If the person dies at home call your GP and nearest relative immediately.
 If the GP has seen the deceased in the last 14 days for what he/she believes has caused the death then he can certify the death.

However, if the GP has not seen the deceased in last 14 days, or has seen the deceased in the last 14 days but not for what he/she believes has caused the death then the coroner is informed.

If the person dies in hospital then the body will usually stay in the hospital mortuary until we arrange for it to be moved to our chapel of rest, the family’s home or straight to the crematorium – whichever is required.

A Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (MCCD) is issued by the doctor who was treating the deceased, unless the coroner needs to be informed.

When a death is referred to the coroner he/she is likely to request an autopsy (a post-mortem investigative operation) to be carried out.

If the coroner, after the autopsy has been carried out, considers there is no reason for an inquest an Order of Burial can be issued, or in the case of cremation a Certificate of Coroner, Form Cremation 6.

If the coroner believes an inquest needs to occur there are 3 options:-

  • If a burial is requested he/she can open the inquest, issue a coroner’s Order of Burial, and then adjourn the inquest to a later date. The inquest can occur at any-point, including post-funeral.
  • When a cremation is requested, then a Certificate of Coroner, Form Cremation 6 is issued, the inquest again can happen post-funeral this occurs when the coroner is confident that there will be no need to re-examine the body.
  • The coroner has the discretion to refuse a burial or cremation request until the inquest is concluded if he believes that a further examination of the deceased’s remains may assist with establishing the cause of death or who might be responsible for causing the death.

The person registering a death, often a family member, presents the certificate issued by the doctor. The registrar issues the official death certificate (one copy is given and additional copies can be purchased) and a green disposal certificate (commonly called the green certificate), unless the coroner has replaced the same with either an Order of Burial or a Certificate of Coroner, Form Cremation 6, which is passed to us.

A death should usually be registered within 5 days, however if the coroner has been involved this can be extended.

In the case of cremation, regardless of where the person dies, the following forms (where relevant) need to be completed:

  • Form Cremation 1
    This is the application form for a cremation. It is usually completed by the next of kin, another family member or executor of the will.
  • Form Cremation 4
    Completed and signed by either the GP who was treating the deceased, or the doctor treating the deceased in hospital.
  • Form Cremation 5
    Completed by an independent doctor, who must not work in the same practice as the doctor who completed Form 4. He/she independently confirms the reason for the death.
  • Form Cremation 11
    Coroner issues after a post mortem (this is completed as doctors Forms 4 and 5 could not be completed).
  • Form Cremation 6
    Coroner issues after either the post mortem or the inquest (this is completed as doctors Forms 4 and 5 could not be completed).
  • Form Cremation 10
    The authorisation of cremation of a deceased person by the medical referee. This is only signed once he/she has been satisfied that all the forms have been correctly completed.